Jakob Dylan & r & & r & Seeing Things & r & & r & 3 STARS & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & N & lt;/span & o matter what anyone says, it is an absolute must to purchase any music with the Dylan name attached -- it is a risk that is worth taking. And prior to the release of this, his first solo album, the minor Dylan constructed an impressive body of work with the Wallflowers, thus validating the above statement.
But the greatest success of his previous band came from its ability to churn out the high-tempo rockers, those foot-stomping numbers that ensured a grand time. On Seeing Things, Dylan focuses exclusively on acoustic numbers, the realm covered much more successfully by his father. As such, the album fails by comparison, an unavoidable, though sad, means of evaluation.
Taken without unfair comparisons, many songs succeed because of Dylan's emotive voice, powerful songwriting, and his capacities as a performer. It's too bad that his father's legacy will doom him to create music in long shadows.
-- CAREY MURPHY
Download: "All Day and All Night"
& lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & F & lt;/span & rom the opening track "All My Friends," it's clear that Au intends to march to their own drummers. Multiple soaring vocals rise and fall over strings and keys as an introduction to "Are Animals," the second track and companion piece to the album's opener. If Yeasayer, Beirut and MGMT let loose just a bit more, the results might approximate what is happening here. But not really.
The brainchild of Luke Wyland, Au (pronounced like two long vowel sounds) continues to expand the experimental tendencies on the band's sophomore album. From singing saws ("Summerheat") to lush piano-driven fields ("All Myself"), the album succeeds because it makes its own rules for what pop music can be. Undoubtedly too sparse for commercial radio, these songs reveal a quiet reverence for all things meditative. And some of the greatest joys come from attempting to meet the band halfway in these indulgences.
-- CAREY MURPHY
Download: "rr vs. d"